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Issues and Insights

This page provides links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research. The entries are drawn from a wide range of sources, including national newspapers, magazines and websites. If you come across interesting transportation reading that might deserve posting here, let us know at [email protected]

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The Power of Getting Paid Not to Park at Work Bloomberg CityLab, July 14, 2021 -Repealing the tax exemption for a popular fringe benefit is unlikely, but the discussion doesn’t end there. In a bid to reduce driving and increase fairness, the District of Columbia enacted its Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment in 2020. If an employer with 20 or more employees subsidizes parking at work, the law requires the employer to offer an equal benefit to employees who do not drive.
 
The Sunbelt’s Transportation Priorities Are Going the Wrong Way Bloomberg CityLab, June 21, 2021 - Many completed and planned Sunbelt light rail investments are poorly designed and are not likely to get much ridership. Highway expansions, for their part, are often geared toward serving new exurban developments...The common thread in these problems is a neglect of market principles. The best indicator of how much transit improvements are needed is how much people are willing to pay for them
The Most Dangerous Roads in America for Walkers Streetsblog, Jul 19, 2021 - Three quarters of the most fatal roads in America for pedestrians are located in low-income neighborhoods, a new study finds — and they overwhelmingly share a handful of notoriously dangerous design characteristics that communities can and must eliminate on any corridor where residents are expected to walk. 
A Critical Evaluation of the Urban Mobility Report Planetizen, July 13, 2021 - Urban transportation is multimodal: urban residents often walk, bike, rideshare and use public transit, and increasingly rely on telework and delivery services...The Urban Mobility Report promotes motorists’ interests; people who rely on other modes are ignored. It treats motorists as victims, ignoring the fact that motorists are also congestion perpetrators. It only considers active and public transit improvements worthwhile to the degree that they reduce congestion. 
Elon Musk wants to dig a tunnel in Florida. What could go wrong?  Recode, July 8, 20201 - Fort Lauderdale is interested in using a tunnel to ease traffic on one of its busiest roads, and Elon Musk wants to build it. This week, Ford Lauderdale’s city government accepted a proposal from Musk’s urban tunnel-digging outfit, the Boring Company, to carve out an underground passageway that will deliver people from downtown to the beach via self-driving Teslas. 

 
Federal program debuts climate change, racial justice criteria as part of infrastructure grants Washington Post, June 30, 2021 - For the first time, federal transportation officials judged projects seeking multimillion-dollar grants from a highway, rail and port infrastructure fund based on how they might tackle climate change and racial injustice.
 
Whether Those Endless Edge Or Corner Cases Are The Long-Tail Doom For AI Self-Driving Cars Forbes, July 13, 2021 - An edge or corner case is a reference to the instance of something that is considered rare or unusual. These are events that tend to happen once in a blue moon. They are usually coined as outliers ...Here’s an intriguing question that is worth pondering: Are AI-based true self-driving cars doomed to never be capable on our roadways due to the endless possibilities of edge or corner cases and the infamous long-tail conundrum?
 
A Little More Remote Work Could Change Rush Hour a Lot The New York Times, 6/11/21 - There is something uniquely awful about that time of day when there is no good way to get around. The car horns sound nastier as downtown traffic snarls. The elbows feel sharper on a jammed subway. The sight of red brake lights is soul-crushing when they lead on a highway all the way to the horizon.
Can Removing Highways Fix America’s Cities? New York Times, May 27, 2021 - As midcentury highways reach the end of their life spans, cities across the country are having to choose whether to rebuild or reconsider them. And a growing number, like Rochester, are choosing to take them down.
Working From Home for Some Threatens Mass Transit for All Bloomberg.com, 5/12/21 - While President Joe Biden pushes for $2.3 trillion in infrastructure spending with billions for mass transit, operators of commuter rail and buses are fretting over a burgeoning work-from-home culture that threatens to depress revenue for years after the pandemic.
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